The oldest son (Lk 15:25-15:25)

“Now his elder son

Was in the field.

When he came,

He approached

The house.

He heard music

And dancing.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν,

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the older or elder son (ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος) was in the field (ἐν ἀγρῷ) when his brother came back.  As he approached the house (καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), he heard music (ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας) and dancing (καὶ χορῶν).  Interesting enough, Luke once again was the only biblical writer to use these two words in his writings, συμφωνίας that means harmony of instruments or music, and χορῶν that means a dance, or dancing.  The older or elder son had worked hard on the farm, while his brother went and spent his fortune on wine, women, and song.  He knew nothing about the reconciliation of his brother and father.  Are you sometimes out of the loop?

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He took care of him (Lk 10:34-10:34)

“The Samaritan

Approached him.

He bandaged

His wounds.

He poured oil

And wine

On them.

Then he put him

On his own animal.

He brought him

To an inn.

He took care of him.”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον, ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that this Samaritan went to or approached this wounded man (καὶ προσελθὼν), instead of crossing over to the other side of the road.  He bandaged his wounds (κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ) and poured oil and wine on them (ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον).  Apparently, oil and wine were like medicine to heal the wounds.  Then he put him on his own animal (ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος), either a horse or a mule.  He then brought him to an inn (ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον).  This Samaritan really took care of this wounded man (καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ).  This underclass Samaritan stepped up.  He helped the wounded half dead man by the wayside.  He apparently was ready for this kind of thing, because he had bandages, oil, and wine with him.  He even was traveling with an animal, probably a mule.  There was no mention of any animal with the priest or the Levite.  Thus, we have the famous saying about Good Samaritans, based on this story, someone unrelated, who shows up and helps a person in need.  This Good Samaritan story has become part of our contemporary secular cultural language.  Thus, this story has reached beyond a pure religious context.  However, the assumptions are always that the helping person was motivated by a higher calling.  Have you ever been a Good Samaritan?

John the Baptist (Lk 7:33-7:33)

“John the Baptist

Has come

Eating no bread

And drinking no wine.

Yet you say.

‘He has a demon.’”

 

ἐλήλυθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτιστὴς μὴ ἐσθίων ἄρτον μήτε πίνων οἶνον, καὶ λέγετε Δαιμόνιον ἔχει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus took on the complaints against John the Baptist and himself.  Jesus said that John the Baptist came (ἐλήλυθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτιστὴς) eating no bread (μὴ ἐσθίων ἄρτον) and drinking no wine (μήτε πίνων οἶνον), fasting.  Yet they still said that he had a demon (καὶ λέγετε Δαιμόνιον ἔχει).  Matthew, chapter 11:18, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  They said that John had a demon, because he would not eat bread or drink wine.  He was an ascetic, fasting a lot, with a simple sparse lifestyle, yet they considered him demonic.  Do you have an ascetic lifestyle?

Blessed are the hungry (Lk 6:21-6:21)

“Blessed are you

Who are hungry now!

You shall be satisfied.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν, ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the hungry people now (οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν) would be blessed or happy (μακάριοι) and satisfied (ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε), using the second person plural.  This is somewhat equivalent to Matthew, chapter 5:6, perhaps indicating that these beatitudes may be from the Q source.  There Matthew said the happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) were those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness (οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην).  They would not go away empty handed.  They would be satisfied or filled (ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσοντ).  Isaiah, chapter 55:1-2 had an invitation to those without money to come to drink and eat.  They could have water, wine, milk and bread.  They would enjoy themselves at this banquet.  Matthew may have been referencing Psalm 107:4-9, where Yahweh had helped a small group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty, while wandering in the desert.  He satisfied their thirst and filled their hunger with good food.  Thus, they gave thanks to Yahweh.  So too, those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness, the right way of doing things, would be satisfied or filled with this righteousness.  However, here Luke was talking about real hunger for food that would be satisfied.  Luke is more concrete, less spiritual.  You are poor and hungry, plain and simple.  You would be blessed, fortunate, happy, and satisfied.

Jesus was offered wine to drink (Mk 15:23-15:23)

“They offered Jesus

Wine,

Mixed with myrrh.

However,

He did not take it.”

 

καὶ ἐδίδουν αὐτῷ ἐσμυρνισμένον οἶνον· ὃς δὲ οὐκ ἔλαβεν.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:34, but Matthew had gall not myrrh mixed with the wine.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, did not have any mention of this offer to drink wine in order to dull the pain.  Mark said that that they offered Jesus some wine to drink (καὶ ἐδίδουν αὐτῷ…οἶνον).  This wine was mixed with myrrh (ἐσμυρνισμένον), not gall as in Matthew.  However, as in Matthew, Jesus would not take it or drink it (ὃς δὲ οὐκ ἔλαβεν).

 

New wine in old wine skins (Mk 2:22-2:22)

“No one puts

New wine

Into old wine skins.

Otherwise,

The wine

Will burst

The skins.

The wine is lost.

So are the skins.

But one puts

New wine

Into fresh wine skins.”

 

καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοί. ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς.

 

Luke, chapter 5:37-38, and Matthew, chapter 9:17, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about wine skins.  Luke also had a more elaborate explanation.  Mark has Jesus continue with his metaphors or parables.  No one pours new wine (καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον) into old wine skins or leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς), because they would crack.  The old wine skins would burst open (εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκούς).  The new wine would be spilled, lost, or destroyed (καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται) as well as the wine skins (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ).  New wine should be poured (ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον) into fresh or new wine skin leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς).  Do not mix up the new with the old.

Golgotha (Mt 27:33-27:34)

“They came to a place

Called Golgotha.

This means

Place of a skull.

They offered him

Wine to drink.

This wine was

Mixed with gall.

But when Jesus

Tasted it,

He would not drink it.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ, ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος,

ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον· καὶ γευσάμενος οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:22-23, but Mark has myrrh not gall.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called the skull, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called Golgotha with the explanation.  Matthew said that they came to a place called Golgotha (Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ) that means “Place of a skull (ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος).”  There they offered him some wine to drink (ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον) in order to dull the pain.  This wine was mixed with gall or bitter herbs (μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον).  But when Jesus experienced this taste (καὶ γευσάμενος), he did not want to drink it (οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν).  This Golgotha apparently is a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  This place was near Jerusalem.  The exact location is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.